by Muhammed Nejmi
Let us begin by reviewing these thoughts on contemporary public integrity today in what Old Mankato, Minnesota, amateur historian si‘ Smit’, er, Smeeth calls the Old Atlantic West:
Now the following, written by si‘ Smit’, er, Smeeth himself, lampoons a scenario that existed in Minnesota in exactly the same form as that given below in today’s “downttown Iraq.” Only in Minnesota the stealing went on with with respect to highway-construction contracts in the early 1950s, when his father was an accountant for the state and audited the books of these mostly non-Muslim gentry. As an auditor, the elder Smit’, er, Smeeth helped to haul them in on charges quite regularly. Unfortunately, that gentleman was not on hand to get the drop on the thieves so lovingly detailed below:
On the basis of information of this sort as well of what Sufis call “absolute knowledge,” I do happen to think that I agree with anticant, above, that there are more opportunities for vileness today, just because there are an enormously greater number of parallel channels for transactions of all sorts, so to speak.
The matter of getting caught with ones “ass in a sling” in si’ Smit’s, er, Smeeth’s delightful Eagle Lake-ism therefore becomes much more of a tempting lottery.
His father said to his son that, in his time, the state of Minnesota would almost always land these fish — there was very little corruption for quite awhile after WW II at least on the government side, in this particular American state at least — but that even then, fifty-five years ago, the guilty could pretty reliably wiggle out of things with the aid of shifty-enough legal counsel.
Today the problem would seem to be “worse,” and maybe it actually is.
In part at least, this may be because in the dull light of si‘ Smit’s, er, Smeeth’s late-modernity in the Old Atlantic West we have long-since embraced willingly our historical doom. This is specifically the demands of what we sincerely take to be “progress.” A requirement of this has been that we have long-since abandoned the usage of commonly-held religious narratives. It has been at the high expense of course of a corresponding historical and cultural sense, but this has also happened because of the scientific question of the “truth” of religion generally, and of Christianity (and now Islam) in particular.
The great horror of all creeds held by many — and this to their credit indeed — is the persistent problem of scapegoating that accompanies undifferentiated religious emotion.
Our understandable move away from this all has been perfectly sincere as far as it goes, but it is also one as factitious as it is correspondingly onesided.
The real problem is that we are for now rather at a loss for indoctrinatory tools that have a satisfactory mythical and artistic feeling-content, with which to inculcate morality.
For what it is worth, the Sufis have long noted that no level of cultural and political attainment (or collapse) can last “forever.”
Also they say, and this may seem like a remarkable “downsizing” of scale in view of our enormous problems today, the matter of personal scrupolosity in fact finally does trump always (!) the shenanigans of the unregenerate, even if the honest person is outnumbered a thousand-to-one so to speak. More specifically for example, if at the post office for instance one makes sure to pay the extra tariff on the tenth of an ounce over, one in effect trivially (!) nonetheless is thereby doing grand magic, or alchemy. This is magic moreover of the sort that does help everyone else along, whether they know it or not. (Needless to say, to go on “Tee Vee” afterward and brag about it wrecks everything and the real work in fact is very largely done in silence all over the world, everyday.)
In other words in this rather crude molecular realm, the real integration of the whole world — its integrity — is done everyday in the microcosm of the thoughtful individual creator creature, and integrity like the very love and existence itself, all is being created anew every 1/32-billionth of a second.
And so we may indeed safely say as someone or other already said before, paraphrasing Randolph Churchill or George IV or somebody in the 19th century:
“It IS all fantasy in the end.”
[Emmett R Smith
[all transcription-rights reserved
[24 February 2008]